This is What a California Girl in Chicago Looks Like

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I’m in Chicago!  It feels weird to be here since I’ve been planning my styling weekend at Trunk Club for what feels like forever!   It didn’t feel like it would ever happen!  So far I must say I really love this city!  We’ve been walking all over the place getting the tour from our good friends that moved here almost a year ago.  We’ve totally lucked out at this point weather wise too.  Everyone in San Diego looked at us like we were nuts to go to Chicago in the winter but it really hasn’t been too bad.  I mean, I’ve been pretty bundled so really I have no excuse to complain about not being warm!  It snowed a few inches the first day while I was at Trunk Club and it felt like I was living in a beautiful snow globe!!  I know the novelty of snow has worn off for most of you people that live in snow on a regular basis but I just absolutely love it while I’m on vacation.

My absolute essentials for cold weather are ear muffs and long scarves.  I hate how my ears and chin feel when they get too cold.  Those are the first items I pack in my carry on so I can whip them out easily when we are leaving the airport.  Otherwise, having a nice thick wool coat that hits almost at my ankles has been a life saver in windy moments.

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Ear Muff: Micheal Micheal Kors, Scarf: Zadig & Voltaire (Similar), Coat: Jones New York, Sweater: Equipment,  Jeans: J Brand, Boots: Nine West (Similar)

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Iceland: Where the Sunrise Lasts for Hours

DSC00532As I’m sitting here in sweltering heat (did I mention our house doesn’t have A/C?), I can’t help but think back to some of our vacations to cooler climates.  One of the coldest places we’ve visited, and my favorite place so far, was Iceland in December of 2010.  It’s probably one of the most geographically stunning places I’ve ever been.  We did a Golden Circle tour that took us to many of the highlights of Iceland.  Now, I’m not a tour person who likes to be shuttled with a bunch of other tourists on a giant bus and herded through the top tourist spots.  This was on so much of a smaller scale that we felt like we had a private tour.  At one point the tour guide lets us out and tells us to hike to the top of this glacier.  He won’t be joining us… he’ll meet us at the top!  As he’s driving away leaving the 8 of us alone with nobody else in sight, we have no other choice but to climb.  And once we got to the top, where the picture above was taken, it was worth every frozen step.

Of course, no trip to Iceland would be complete without visiting The Blue Lagoon.  This geothermal spa is exactly what you need after a long flight.  We got picked up from the airport and went directly to The Blue Lagoon and I highly recommend it.  You can float in the mineral rich water to unwind, spoil yourself with an in water massage, and grab a glass of champagne in the lounge.  Just what the doctor ordered to sooth that jet lag!

Another favorite point about our visit in December, was that the sun rises at about 11am and sets about 3pm.  So you know what that means?!  The sunrises and sunsets last for hours!!  The sun hovers just above the horizon giving us all the gorgeous pinks, oranges, and golds you could ever imagine.  It’s a beautiful display of nature.  But what that means is you can’t rely on the sun to keep you warm.  I’m totally a cold weather wimp so if I told you how many layers I wore, you’d probably laugh at me.  That being said, the locals looked super chic in leggings, a knit dress, boots (or booties!), hidden beneath a warm coat and scarf to be removed immediately before entering an establishment.  Check out my what to wear suggestions below!  Overall, I’d say this is a must visit place.  I’ll be going back again for sure!!

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WTW Iceland

Jacket: Vince Camuto,  Dress: Diane von Furstenberg, Tights: DKNY, Boots: Stuart Weitzman